If you sent money to a scammer using Western Union you may get a refund
If you sent money to a scammer through Western Union between 1 January 2004 and 19 January 2017, you may be entitled to a refund after the global money service agreed to repay a settlement of $586 million to scam victims. Claims must be submitted by 31 May 2018.
The company has admitted criminal violations in the United States including wilfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program as well as aiding and abetting wire fraud.
Acting United States Attorney Louis D Lappen said Western Union’s failure to comply with anti-money laundering laws provided fraudsters and other criminals with a means to transfer criminal proceeds and victimize innocent people.
In resolving these charges, Western Union has agreed to implement and maintain a comprehensive anti-fraud program with training for its agents and front line associates, along with monitoring to detect and prevent fraud-induced money transfers.
The United States’ Department of Justice recently sent letters to Australians who may have sent money to a scammer. Consumers are able to complete this letter to apply for the refund. If you did not receive a letter but believe you may qualify to make a claim, the scam should be one of the following:
- Online or internet scams – you did not receive the items you tried to buy online.
- Lottery or prize promotion scams – you were told you won a lottery or sweepstakes, but never got the prize.
- Emergency or grandparent scams – you sent money to someone pretending to be a relative or friend in urgent need of money.
- Advance-fee loan scams – you paid upfront fees, but did not get the promised loans.
- Online dating or romance scams – you sent money to someone who created a fake profile on a dating or social networking website.
To submit a claim
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website and complete the ‘I lost money, but did not get a claim form’.
As this is a United States-based action, Consumer Protection WA is unable to make claims on the behalf of consumers.
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